As I sit here, still nursing this stupid head cold, while my fellow riding friends are out on trail, I am setting up a plan for my winter training. In normal years, my "winter plan" would have started in November. This year, not unlike last, old man winter is late to arrive. There are, however, rumors that snow--big snow-- is on it's way for later this week. For me, this means running season has arrived along with more yoga, weight training, and more work on balance and posture. I had a few false starts this year when I thought winter had settled in, but each time was foiled by warmer temps...and everyone knows my road bike won't stay inside in good conditions.
For those reading this post in hopes of finding a training program for them, keep searching. As a trainer and cycling coach, I am the first to say no one is the same and no one benefits from following one program designed for all. The only advice I give across the board is: a) Take some time off the bike. Even if the weather allows you to train on the bike year round, your body will thank you for partaking in some cross-training--preferably in the upright position. b) Posture and balance can help prevent injuries in the future. Taking a couple months during the "down" season to find discrepancies in the body and even them out to the best of your ability will make you stronger and healthier as you ramp up the miles.
For some of this "repair" work on myself, there is one piece of equipment I hate and love at the same time. I was introduced to the foam roller about ten years ago by a 45 year old track racer. The first time I used it, tears were streaming down my cheeks and I'm pretty sure I threw up a bit. The track racer laughed and said "Good. That means you need it...now keep doing it several times each week." When I'm compliant, it makes an enormous difference. It has helped me battle a mild case of compartment syndrome, it keeps my Morton's neuroma at bay and it allows my shoulders to go into a semi-normal placement. My husband and I even have a short one we take when traveling.
I'm including an introductory foam roller routine to follow for those who are interested. You can pick a roller up at most running stores or get one on line. I suggest getting a denser one to prevent quick break down, however, the basic white ones still work well--especially for those who are sensitive to pressure.
Happy winter everyone and I hope to see your tracks in the snow soon!